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Alice Roosevelt Longworth: Topics in Chronicling America

Socialite Alice Longworth was the only child of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt and his first wife. This guide provides access to materials related to the “Alice Roosevelt Longworth” in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.

Introduction

Alice Roosevelt before her wedding. February 17, 1906. Richmond Daily Palladium (Richmond, IN), Image 2. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

Popularly dubbed “Princess Alice,” Alice Roosevelt Longworth often rivaled her father President Theodore Roosevelt in making headlines. As her father once remarked, “I can be President of the United States, or I can attend to Alice. I can’t do both.” While Princess Alice was a star in the dailies throughout her father’s presidency, the years 1905 and 1906 proved particularly eventful.

In 1905, she made headlines with rumors of proposals from a Sultan and gifts from royals when she accompanied future President Taft on a diplomatic trip to Asia. In 1906, she married Ohio Congressman Nicholas Longworth in a White House ceremony that received coverage akin to a modern Royal Wedding. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.

Timeline

January 1905 Alice Roosevelt will learn jiu-jitsu.
June 1905 Roosevelt visits Congressman Nicholas Longworth In Ohio, and her father has an admirer arrested.
July 1905 Roosevelt accompanies Taft on a trip to the Far East, including stops in Hawaii, Japan, and China.
October 1905 Roosevelt returns from her Eastern travel. Immediately, the press speculates on the value of the gifts she received from her foreign hosts.
November 1905 Rumors of her engagement to Nicholas Longworth intensify.
December 1905 After repeated denials, her engagement is officially announced to significant fanfare.
February 1906 As foreign governments send lavish wedding gifts, President Roosevelt asks them to stop. The most lavish is a $20,000 pearl necklace from Cuba. Some reports even describe them as unconstitutional, but the gifts mostly fascinate the public.
February 17, 1906 Alice Roosevelt and Nicholas Longworth marry in the White House in what the public treats as an American royal wedding, The Evening Star devotes more than five pages to coverage of the spectacle.